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Ernest C. (Jim) Howard (1859–1931)

The death of Mr. Ernest Howard, of 10 Mary street, Grafton, removed an old and greatly respected citizen of many years residence in this district. He was a well-known identity who had been always, and especially in the early days of his life in Grafton, closely associated with the sporting and social activities of the town. A few years ago Mr. Howard, who suffered severely from rheumatism, took a health trip to New Zealand, but recently his physical condition began to cause some anxiety amongst his relatives and friends and about a week ago he was admitted to the Grafton District Hospital where he passed away at 10 o'clock on Wednesday night.

Mr. Howard, who was 72 years of age, was born in England. He came to Australia as a lad, but went back to the old country and subsequently made a trip around the world. Returning to Australia over 40 years ago he resided at Hillgrove, Armidale and Tamworth before coming to the Clarence River district.

Nearly 40 years ago he was engaged as an assistant by Messrs T. C. Davis and Co., who opened up business as drapers in Prince street, near the Crown Hotel. This business was afterwards taken over by Messrs Hoy and Fisher, who carried it on as the Bon Marche Stores. In the meantime Mr. Howard was married to Mrs. T. T. Seller, the proprietress of the Crown Hotel, and together they conducted the hotel for 38 years. Mr. and Mrs. Howard were a genial host and hostess and made many friends while they were at the hotel.

Mr. Howard was always a keen sportsman and he had the reputation of being a particularly good man with a gun, quail shooting in the marshes round about Grafton being a specially strong diversion with him. He was closely associated with aquatic sports on the River and was keenly interested in the Water Brigade, in which body he occupied the position of captain for a number of years. On the occasion of his marriage with Mrs. Seller, about 36 years ago, there was a memorable banquet at the Crown Hotel at which those closely identified with rowing on the River were prominent guests.

After leaving the Crown Hotel, over 10 years ago, Mr. Howard resumed his former occupation as a draper and was engaged at Mr. J. T. McKittrick's, South Grafton, and Moneysaver's, Grafton, after which he lived practically in retirement.

Mr. Howard, who was one of the first to join the Grafton Bowling Club, was a loyal and strong supporter of that body. He was a very proficient player and a fine exponent of the draw shot. With that attribute in his favor he was always a tough proposition in singles games, and he was runner-up for the club championship a few years ago. On the bowling green, Mr. Howard was very popular and the club members attended well at the funeral at the Grafton cemetery yesterday to pay their last tribute of respect to his memory.

Mr. Howard was also a member of the Masonic Order and associated with the Royal Arch Chapter. He was buried with Masonic honors, the service being read by M.E. Comp. Bro. C. Musgrove. The funeral at the cemetery was preceded by a short service at Christ Church Cathedral which was conducted by the Rev. Canon Ware, who officiated in the Church of England service at the graveside.

Surviving the deceased are his widow, now in her 90th year, who is residing at 10 Mary street, and three step-daughters, viz., Mesdames H. Cochrane, of Sydney, M. McFadden, of Grafton, and L. Fraser, who is residing with her mother in Mary street. There arc also two sisters living in England, one at Ipswich, Suffolk, and the other in London.

Of the elderly widow it is interesting to recall that she celebrated her 89th birthday on Sunday, February 1 last. She was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Small, of Woodford Island, first settlers on the Clarence River and she was the first white child born on this River, on February 1, 1842.

Original publication

Citation details

'Howard, Ernest C. (Jim) (1859–1931)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Norfolk, England


19 August, 1931 (aged ~ 72)
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

kidney disease

Cultural Heritage

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